It was Australia Day (though some call it Invasion Day and I do wish we could advance as a nation so that it doesn't have to be an issue anymore, but unfortunately I can't see any adequate resolutions happening anytime in the near future) on Monday so we celebrated in typical style by having a barbeque with friends.
Actually, it was neighbours and it was a picnic because the park we were at didn't have a barbeque.
Oh how we love our neighbours. Right from the start they have made us feel welcome in our new city.
There were kids of all ages and the older ones helped the little ones on all the play equipment. So the really big ones (i.e us) didn't have to do it.
We made fresh lemonade (as per Tilly's request), roasted chickens, chunky tomato and pepper salad, potato salad (made with my very own mayonnaise) and the totally adorable mini pavlovas with raspberries and blueberries that I neglected to photograph because by the time I served them, I was ever so slightly tipsy.
And then the next day was Tilly's first day of school. It's sort of a big deal, and sort of not. You see, she's just so ready to be at school. It's called Prep here in Queensland and the deal is pretty sweet. The curriculum is play led and the staff to student ratio is good.
She looks incredibly sweet (and oh so grown up) in her school uniform and I just feel so happy that she loves it and is excited about school. I know there will come a time when she starts to resent it, but at least she is starting with the right attitude.
There is, of course, the little matter of watching your child move into the next phase of her life and that can be a bit confronting. But she is ready, she is more than capable and she has been such a wonderful 0-4.5 year old Tilly that I can only be excited at the prospect of the schoolgirl version.
I'm so proud of her, and where she is going.
Which leads me to confront a different issue.
My husband is feeling the pressure of providing for a family. He doesn't want to be the sole provider anymore. He wants me to return to work, in a substantial way.
My initial reaction is NO!
I look at Tilly and feel like my being by her side all day, every day has contributed to the bright gem she has become. How could I not give that opportunity to little Feather?
Maybe I am looking at it in the wrong way, but I feel as though returning to work would detract from the essence of family that I have attempted to create. How can my energies be focused on the home when they are directed outside the home?
Also, can he not recognise the sort of mother I have been to our children so far, does he not think that our relationship might be a bit different if I was out of the home on a regular basis?
And this is the big one. Does he really think that me as a stay at home mother, that I don't "provide" for our family. Doesn't he think there is enough value in what I do?
All this makes me angry and upset, and I find it particularly hurtful that his only solution for his own problem (stress) is for me to make changes to my life. I have offered him support and solutions on how he might manage stress, all of which he has blatantly ignored.
But, while a lump still comes to my throat when I think about it, I have decided to explore the idea a bit. After all, I do have the intention of returning to work (school hours) when the children are both at school. The problem with this is that I will have been out of the workforce for quite a number of years. How on earth do I start back in? I have ridiculously high expectations and any job that took me out of my home would have to be fulfilling. But am I good enough for what I would consider a fulfilling job?
Re-training? Is that the answer. I looked at some Post-Graduate course outlines in areas that I might be interested in and I felt a rush of nerves. I don't think I could sit through lectures again, or do group assignments that hardly resemble real world group participation. And exams just kill me. I still have nightmares about sitting my undergraduate exams and HSC.
I suppose it all comes down to a lack of confidence. I just don't think I can do it. I had sort of resigned myself to never having a career again. But what am I supposed to do.
It's so ridiculous. I don't actually want a job.
But if I have to have one, I really don't want to have a shit job.
Oh, and if you happen to be a member of my extended family and are reading this, can you please keep it to yourself. It's for me and Andrew to sort out on our own, thanks.